The law firm of Lavely & Singer, which is representing a number of the (mostly) female celebrities who had their iCloud accounts hacked, and their pictures posted all over the Internet have been calling on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) to remove the pics from their sites for some time now. But in a typical grandiose, even Hollywood, letter the firm threatened a lawsuit that “could well exceed” $100 million while maintaining that the search giant is “making millions and profiting from the victimization of women.”
The letter and emails that preceded it accuses Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) of not taking action to remove the pictures from properties owned by Google. According to the Hollywood Reporter, in the first week after the theft from the cloud, Google was asked to remove 461 URLs from search results, yet, over 50% remained live. However, Google countered to this today by releasing its transparency report that the company believes shows that 444 of those links were removed.
The lawyers claim that Google dragged its digital feet in removing the photos as required under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The law firm also demanded that Google remove the images from both Blogger and YouTube and suspend the user accounts of those that uploaded the photos.
Friday, Google responded saying that they have done just that.
“We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures — within hours of the requests being made — and we have closed hundreds of accounts,” Google said in a statement to ZDNet. “The internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.”
Yesterday’s letter also suggests that nearly a month after the celebs iCloud accounts were hacked that the photos remain on Google properties.
At the end of the day, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not responsible for the iCloud breech and it will be interesting to see how successful any possible legal action is in the future. Given the high profile nature of the case, one would think that Google did its best to remove a number of these photos immediately knowing that celebrity lawyers must have been licking their chops when the story broke.